Mercedes has announced a partnership with Facebook which will allow drivers to check their status updates while on the move (The Drum & Fox Business).
The partnership, which also involves Yelp and Google, will see the firms’ services introduced to Mercedes’ 2013 models.
According to The Drum report, a new in vehicle telematics system will allow drivers to check their status updates on the move with a specially designed pared down menu system designed to minimise distractions.
The Fox Business report says that the system “will not only allow drivers to update their pages at 75 mph without using a smartphone, but also tie into the car’s navigation system to alert all their nearby friends along the way”.
In the case of Facebook, the system will not allow text inputs, just a menu of canned messages selected with a tap. The car’s GPS system can provide data that allows alerts to friends nearby or places and activities that friends “like.” If the driver has input a destination into the navigation system, updates on his progress can go automatically to his or her Facebook page.
Dan Rose, Facebook vice president, said: “Now that cars have screens that are intelligent, you would expect that more and more car manufacturers will want to make those screens capable of allowing people to connect with their friends and take advantage of the social context that comes along with that.
“One of the core things that people do on their screens in the car is GPS navigation and the ability to see which of your friends are nearby is something we think will be really interesting for people.”
We contacted Mercedes Benz UK press office to ask them to confirm whether a driver will be able to access Facebook while driving, and if so whether they think this poses a risk of distraction.
Caroline Burnell, press officer for Mercedes Benz UK, said: "This is a concept at present and the technology would be used to enhance the driver experience, not to detract from it.
"Regarding distractions, under the Mercedes-Benz philosophy the multimedia systems are designed to support the driver and enhance driver-fitness safety."